See the below facts 40% of America's rivers are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life. Even worse are America's lakes—46% are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life. 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, storm water, and industrial waste are discharged into US waters annually. The US EPA has warned that sewage levels in rivers could be back to the super-polluted levels of the 1970s by the year 2016. Asian rivers are the most polluted in the world. They have three times as many bacteria from human waste as the global average and 20 times more lead than rivers in industrialized countries.